Today’s Ninth Grade Hike to the Proctor Cabin is a moment early in the school year where we take ownership of our school culture and teach our students what is most important to us: trusting relationships, connection to the wilderness, exercise, community and the ability to talk candidly with those around you. This tradition of hiking to the Proctor Cabin as a class began in 2011, and has quickly grown into a fun, culture shaping opportunity for our youngest, most energetic, inquisitive students.
Coaching, teaching, advising, and working with adolescents energizes each of us. It's why we decided to work at Proctor and to choose education as a career path. But, as any educator will tell you, sometimes the rhythm of the school year becomes a bit too familiar and routine starts to squeeze out joy. Saturday’s Special Olympics Fun Day was just what we all needed on a foggy Saturday morning in early October.
We expect students to understand the difference between their work and someone else’s. We expect them to cite sources, avoid plagiarism, keep their eyes on their test, and use technology responsibly. We expect students to know - or at least develop the ability - to discern the difference between fact and opinion.This is the fundamental framework that holds academic institutions together, and should intellectual integrity start to dissipate, should these basic tenets not be part of the whole structure, it's as though laws of gravity have been somehow disbanded. We float in the wilderness of relativism.
With over thirty afternoon activities and athletic teams available to Proctor students, it is hard to provide equal coverage to every team on campus. For a group of soccer diehards (some completely new to the sport) whose daily home on Emmons Field naturally keeps them out of the spotlight, we thought it was time to give Proctor’s JV2 Soccer team the attention it deserves.
Sometimes it is a simple piece of paper, a skittering scrap blown across a walk or lodged in the taller grass. Sometimes it is the tape at the end of a game, rounded up and tossed under a team bench, or an orange Gatorade top hovering on the green grass, or the water glass left on a table after a meal. We notice these bits of community flotsam, and each time there is that mini-debate inside: Should I pick it up? Will it make a difference?
Near record temperatures settled on campus over the weekend with highs in the upper 80s, and even warmer weather forecast through tomorrow. In the midst of this late September heatwave, we check in on all that happened over the weekend and marvel at how many different activities are available for students to plug into each weekend. This morning's assembly was filled with announcements of appreciation and highlights from the weekend.
We all know the Harry Potter series, and most are familiar with the beginning of the school year at Hogwarts when new students find themselves placed in houses like Gryffindor or Slytherin with all the attending alliances and associations, reputations and personalities. The “Sorting Hat” places the new students at Hogwarts. The choosing is not their own. And in some way a similar process has played out across Proctor this week as afternoon team activities ramp up and coaches work towards roster decisions. And now, at the end of the week, cuts have been made, and teams have started to coalesce. Roles have been determined. It's not quite the Sorting Hat, but it can feel that way.
After nearly two weeks of unofficial starts to the school year, the first day of classes has finally arrived. All 371 students are in classes (except Ocean Classroom students who depart a week from Friday), we’ve had our first assembly of the year, have met with advisories, held our first dorm meetings, and gathered with our athletics/afternoon activity groups for the first time. As we begin to settle into a rhythm this fall, we recognize the opportunity a new year provides to define ourselves both as individuals and as a community.